Citizens are falling victim to the Troggies – throwbacks who live underground and are preparing to destroy the futuristic city above they hate. Dredd tracks them down but is captured and put to work in a slave gang.
Ol’ Stoney Face
After help from a witness, Dredd heads down a disused subway station to confront the Troggies. Even he is overwhelmed by the sheer number of them, and finds himself press-ganged into digging tunnels for explosive charges designed to destroy the Big Meg.
The Big Meg
According to Dredd, New York’s subways were closed down more than a hundred years ago. So, at some point before 1999.
Dredd’s Lawmaster has an “infra-red headlamp” that can detect recent footprints.
The Troggies are a bizarre lot. Decades (and generations) of underground living leave them unlikely to win any beauty contests, with decayed, grey skin and bulging eyes. They have access to an electric whip, which they use to capture Dredd.
The Troggies are apparently citizens of New York who couldn’t cope with the modern advances in the City, and retreated underground. They dress and speak in a bizarre mish-mash of “20th Century” lingo. Groove it, Daddy-o. They hate the “normals” who they feel drove them down to this decaying underworld. Dredd points out that the explosives will kill them as well – and they seem fine with it, with one of them claiming to not have much to live for.
The “Prime Cat” of the Troggies is Slick Willy, who informs Dredd that they plan to explode a series of bombs underneath Mega-City One and bring down the mighty city.
A weapon used by one of the Troggies in the surface raid that opens this issue appears to be model of the Enterprise from Star Trek.
The “Underground Race of Mutants Who Hate the Surface People” plot must be one of the oldest in sci-fi/action stories, so I suppose we had to get to it sooner or later.
There’s not a lot here that inspires. We’ve already had the Futsies and explored how living at the tail-end of the 21st Century isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so this slight variation isn’t even particularly new in the Dredd series. Beyond that, it doesn’t actually stand up to much thought. It seems unlikely that generations chose to live underground, even if they’re not cool with advances in technology.
Will reserve full judgement until Part 2 tomorrow, but so far very average.